Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mcelog

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Pesto
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Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mcelog

Postby Pesto » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:15 pm UTC

I recently installed Linux Mint 15 on my laptop, and ever since then, I have been getting intermittent crashes. My computer switches back to a text mode, displays some system diagnostic info, then reboots. The diagnostic info says that I should run the text on the screen through mcelog, but I don't know how to capture the output on the screen. I've looked through the various log files in /var/log, and can't find it anywhere. Although I've been doing some reading on what mcelog is and how it works, I'm no closer to even being able to diagnose the problem.

Given the nature of the error messages I'm getting, I realize this may be a hardware problem, and the timing with the installation of a new OS may be coincidental. If it is, I would like to know what hardware it is so know whether it makes sense to replace the hardware, or get a new computer. If it's not a hardware problem, I need to evaluate what other OSes I could run. I was running an old version of Ubuntu without a problem before this.

I can usually trigger the crash by doing something processor intensive, like playing Dwarf Fortress or a flash game. Crashes sometimes also happen when I'm just browsing the web, so I don't think it's the fault of any applications. Based on the feedback here, I can do whatever system config changes need to happen, then try to trigger the crash and report back.

Also, mcelog is running as a daemon. Here's some output from ps.

Code: Select all

root      1254  0.0  0.0   2760   360 ?        Ss   13:52   0:00 /usr/sbin/mcelog --daemon

Carnildo
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Re: Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mc

Postby Carnildo » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:37 am UTC

Pesto wrote:I recently installed Linux Mint 15 on my laptop, and ever since then, I have been getting intermittent crashes. My computer switches back to a text mode, displays some system diagnostic info, then reboots. The diagnostic info says that I should run the text on the screen through mcelog, but I don't know how to capture the output on the screen. I've looked through the various log files in /var/log, and can't find it anywhere. Although I've been doing some reading on what mcelog is and how it works, I'm no closer to even being able to diagnose the problem.


If it's telling you to use mcelog, it's a hardware fault. If I'm reading the mcelog man page correctly, the log output should, after reboot, be showing up in /var/log/mcelog, and possibly in /var/log/messages or wherever your system puts its syslog (the information is stored in a way that survives warm reboots, but not full power-cycling).

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Pesto
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Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mc

Postby Pesto » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:40 pm UTC

Carnildo wrote:the log output should, after reboot, be showing up in /var/log/mcelog, and possibly in /var/log/messages or wherever your system puts its syslog

I was able to get that much out of the man file already. I've checked /var/log/mcelog and /var/log/syslog on multiple occasions after one of these crashes and can't find anything. /var/log/mcelog is completely empty, and when I grep syslog for the crash report, I can't find it. For some reason, the crash report doesn't seem to be surviving the reboot. The reboot is a soft reboot done automatically by the OS.

What I can't figure out is how to get the crash report to stick around someplace so I can start to get a more detailed diagnosis.

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scarecrovv
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Re: Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mc

Postby scarecrovv » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:45 am UTC

It's an ugly hack, but have you tried pointing a video camera at the screen, and then triggering a crash?

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Pesto
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Re: Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mc

Postby Pesto » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:56 pm UTC

Well, the crashes are intermittent. When I say I can "trigger" the crash, it just means I've noticed that they seem to happen more often during high CPU load. That's why the best solution would be to bet the mcelog working properly.

That said, taking a picture may be the best solution. I'll just have to keep a camera handy. When a crash happens, I have 30 seconds to capture the screen output.

Still going to work on getting mcelog to work properly.

cphite
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Re: Linux Mint keeps crashing, or I don't know how to use mc

Postby cphite » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:35 pm UTC

I've been having hard freezes with Mint 15 since I installed it... basically I'll be working and then it just stops, and I have to hard shutdown and restart. Haven't had much luck diagnosing it.

At this point am thinking of going back to Mint 14 or maybe even 13 (which is the current "stable" version)


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